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Work in progress: Advising/teaching using videoconferencing technology

Posted Nov 03 2009 10:02pm

It is not every day when I get to give my "Tricks of the Trade in Emergency Medicine" talk in a new environment. I've given lectures in super-small groups (5-10 people), workshop settings (25-50 people), and large groups (>100 people). I given it in a variety of places ranging from Boston to Barbados.

Yesterday, I gave a 30-minute virtual talk on this topic to the Emergency Medicine Interest Group at Loma Linda School of Medicine. I gave the talk from home on my couch! The audience comprised of preclinical and clinical medical students, who are all interested in EM as a career choice.

Logistically, how did we coordinate this?
With the help of Chad Van Ginkel, a tech-saavy third-year medical student at Loma Linda, we were able to pull this off. Using iChat on the computers at both ends, I was able to "share my desktop" with the audience. Whatever was on my desktop could be viewed by the students. This allowed me to run through my Powerpoint slides. Additionally, I opened the PhotoBooth application to allow me the audience to see me talking in real-time with my slides.

My desktop screen, which was projected
onto the projector screen at Loma Linda.

Afterward the talk, we de-activated the desktop sharing and held a Question&Answer session using the videoconferencing feature of iChat. I could see the audience, and the audience could see me. I fielded questions about EM, applicant competitiveness, and common (and uncommon) interview questions.

My thoughts on videoconferencing
Based on this pilot project, I think this is a great tool to help faculty, who are interested in advising, to reach out to medical students outside of their home site and vice versa. I was able to chat with medical students and (in a small way) help guide them during their exciting journey into residency and beyond. This is a valuable, novel option for "virtual advising" in the future. If you belong to an EM Interest Group, I'd be happy to virtually visit with you as well!

The view on my desktop of the left half of
the videoconferencing room at Loma Linda.

Question: Has anyone used videoconferencing for medical purposes yet?
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